I am a 55 year old, single Mother of three teenagers. For the first time in my life, I found myself unemployed in July and thought that finding employment would be a simple process of networking, and sending my resume to all opportunities that I qualified for ……..humbly, I learned that at my age, it was not that easy. I managed to financially take care of my family for July and August. I called DSS to obtain food stamps and was awarded funds beginning in September. I reached out to my parish for help with rent and utilities in September. they also gave me gas and grocery cards. Then, I found myself in October with no financial means to take care of my family. I was told about Ada Jenkins by my parish. I heard about the “211 call” that would let me know what was available in my community. Crisis Assistance and Ada Jenkins were the two main resources. EVERYONE, was caring, understanding and accommodating…from Tina at the front window, to Yolanda at Crisis and Jenni for the Sunshine fund at Ada Jenkins. Thanks to everyone, my rent got paid and my electricity bill was taken care of for both October and November.
I saw people from all walks of life applying for help…..It could have been a very demeaning and embarrassing experience, but the total opposite happened. The volunteers that took my information were respectful and understanding…..they made the application processes accessible and easy. Not only were my rent and electricity paid for, but Jenni signed me up for the food bank right before Thanksgiving and I was able to shop for my family and then return a week later to receive a 25.00 gift card for FOOD LION and a bag full of Thanksgiving food to prepare my meal with. The friendliness and generosity overflowed from their hearts into mine.
I recently received an offer for employment and a salary that will afford me the opportunity to pay not only my bills, but my debts and one day to payback to Ada Jenkins and Crisis Assistance in order to help others in similar circumstances. Gratitude and Joy are the sentiments of my heart this Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, Ada Jenkins also put together a Christmas bag full of presents for my family. The thoughtfulness that went into that bag can only be described as “divinely inspired”. Then I received tickets to go to the COVE AT CHRISTMAS and get another Christmas present for my children and Godchildren.
The Spirit of Giving was prevalent throughout the Ada Jenkins Center. I pray that for anyone who is going through similar circumstances, will NOT HESITATE to reach out to them. May everyone have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!